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Ap Us History Paper on the Treatment of Indians by the French

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The statement, "European Colonists generally viewed the Native Americans as inferior people, who could be exploited for the benefit of the colonies" is most likely valid. It is apparent in Columbus' log that he wanted the royalty in England to believe that he was treating the Indians fairly and doing them no harm. Francisco Coronado was also an explorer of the America's around the same time period; his claim to the royalty back in Europe was similar to Columbus'. 60 years later, a man named Bartolome de Las Casas wrote about the ill treatment that the Spaniards were giving the Indians. He explained that the Spaniards kicked and beat them, and took advantage of their resources. Many people believe that Columbus was a good man that came to the America's and made peace with the Indians, but evidence suggests otherwise.

Columbus and Coronado's main goal in writing these travel logs was to please the royalty back at home, which was Queen Isabella at the time (Doc. A and C). Columbus claims in his log that he gave the Native Americans gifts in attempt to gain their trust so the conversion of the natives to Christianity will be easier for both sides. If someone were to read just Columbus' log with no prior knowledge of him and how he began colonizing the America's, they would think that Columbus was a man of God and that he was merely trying to get on the Natives good side. For example, in his log, Columbus describes an incident in which one of their seamen offers a Native three Portuguese Ceitis (not even worth a penny) for twenty five pounds of cotton even though the natives were known to be very poor. Coronado's travel log was very similar to Columbus' in that they both describe the Natives as if they are fascinated with them. He wanted Queen Isabella to believe that they were doing no harm to the Indians. Coronado even said, "...they had received no harm in any way from me or from those who went in my company."

60 years after Columbus discovered America, a Spanish priest and missionary who traveled to the America's to help convert the Indians to Christianity wrote about his experiences during his stay. He told stories of the Indians being beaten and tortured to prove the point that the Spaniards were in control, not the Indians. Captured chiefs were burned and hanged as a reminder to the other Indians not to fight back. Casas explained how the Spaniards called their workers "lazy dogs" and when illness fell upon a worker they were sent home and thought of as useless.

David A. Stannard, a renowned historian of the late nineteenth century, wrote a novel suggesting that Columbus is not the American hero that he is made out to be (Doc. D). Stannard believes that Columbus was responsible for the liquidation of all non-Christian Native Americans (which was most of them) and hated anyone who wasn't white or of the upper class. He also shows his readers



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